The Victoria Cross

When I originally started my VC page many years ago I had only ever seen 3 Victoria Cross graves. There are however quite a few in South Africa, and quite a few of South Africans scattered throughout the world. It was intended to catalogue our South African VC’s here, but since moving to the UK I have seen many more of these graves, and each one is special.

The Victoria Cross was instituted on 29 January 1856 by Queen Victoria at the request of Prince Albert. It is the premier award for gallantry, and is available to all ranks, to cover actions since the outbreak of the Crimean War in 1854. It is described as a cross patteé, the obverse is a lion guardant on the royal crown, with the words “FOR VALOUR” on a semi circular scroll. The reverse is a circular panel on which is engraved the date of the act for which the decoration was awarded. The cross is suspended on a ring from a seriffed “V” attached to a suspension bar decorated with laurel leaves hanging from a crimson ribbon. The reverse of the suspension bar is engraved with the name, rank and ship, regiment or squadron of the recipient.  The medal was originally made from the bronze of Russian guns captured in the Crimean War, but guns captured in other conflicts have been used at various periods.

The list of South African VC Holders is courtesy of Kevin Brazier, author of  “The COMPLETE VICTORIA CROSS,  A Full Chronological Record of All Holders of Britain’s Highest Award for Gallantry“. The numbers in my list tie into the ©numbers used in this book.  Also worth reading is “FOR VALOUR” and  “VICTORIA CROSSES OF THE ANGLO BOER WAR” by Ian Uys, published by Fortress Books. 

It is worth consulting the following:

Victoria Cross Online

The List  of Second Anglo Boer War Victoria Cross Recipients.

List of Zulu War Victoria Cross Recipients.

Victoria Cross Registers at the National Archives. 1856 to 1944

DRW © 2021, edited and removed VC list from here and created new page for it 07/03/2021